11 March 2017



Mmmm! It felt so good to have a weekend free of events and free of a trip to town! 😄
At our house, ever since we were little, we would turn on the Christian radio drama stories from 8-10 on Saturday mornings and do our weekly house work. ☺️
I haven't listened to those good old stories like "Ranger Bill" in several years, but I turned them on this morning and did some housework. ☺️

Then I began filing away 500 of my "free prints" from Shutterfly from all of last year's trips and times with friends and family. 😁




I also snuck outside to the garage for a bit to sand on this old door that's been in the works since the fall 😜 I feel like my sinuses are packed full of sawdust now, though 😷


But then my favorite part of the day... I sat down in the evening and did a little wood burning for some decorations for our wedding... 😊😉




-MarLeahJoy

04 March 2017


This last month was a bit of a wonderful whirl-wind. 

I was already up in West Virginia the last part of January for my nephew’s first birthday. (But yeah, I was enjoying being with Tyrel maybe a little bit too ;)) On February 1st I got asked a question. A question I already knew the answer to, but I didn’t realize how my world would change when I got to officially say “Yes”. ;) Tyrel and I are engaged to get married in the backyard at my parent’s house… Lord Willing on September 16th. Consider this your “save the date announcement”, and we would love to have everyone join us in our celebration! 

I had to leave to go home the next day after our engagement, but I got to see Tyrel again that very next weekend when he came out to Oklahoma for a mutual friend’s wedding. :) 

Back at work the next week, I was finally able to announce our engagement to my co-workers… and we tried to not cry. Man, I’m really going to miss them! 

That following weekend, I took pictures of one of my co-worker’s boy before he got his first haircut and lost all his pretty little curls. ;)

I’ve done lots of wedding planning and shopping already. That’s one thing that I always fretted about because I had absolutely NO ideas of what I wanted for a wedding. But as soon as I said “yes” ;P it’s just like it opened up my imagination. Haha! So I’ve had a lot of fun creating things and finding bargains.

I have another video to share from this last trip up to West Virginia. I’ve watched the video like 12 times already, not gonna lie. 😏 And not to braagggg or anything, but Tyrel is just so fun to watch on the snowboard. 😄😎


Tyrel picked me up from the train station in White Sulfur Springs :)


:D After being on Amtrak for 28 hours traveling alone, I was happy to have this nice seat next to this man! 😉


We took the scenic highway home, and it's never plowed... :D So I wanted to get out and take some pictures.


And then we had some fun trying to jump for a picture :P





He's my favorite!! So naturally this is my favorite picture. People have "complained" that my videos and pictures and all are too much of Tyrel and not enough of me with him. Hehe, I just can't help that my camera always seems to get me pictures of him! ;) They sure make me happy anyway!


Then we slid around in the slick tracks (where he had been sliding his truck 😉😉) And fell, a lot! And got really snowy. And made snow angels. 😇







A little fun in the woods :) ;)




Where we got engaged :)


Brent turned 1!! He's already walking all around and very vocal in his babyish-jabber! ;D







Tyrel's hat was about the only thing making Brent smile ;D


I met my co-worker one Saturday afternoon to try to get some shots of "Stinky"... let me tell you, he is quite the stinker and had us chasing him all over the park.




Such a cutie!




Daddy and I worked on chopping up some limbs so I can do a little wood-burning on them for a project for the wedding. ;)
And notice, he's wearing a harness still... he just got down off of the scaffolding from scraping and painting the house (which is a major project to get done before the wedding! whew!)




And... that's my catch-up for the month or so! Hehe ;)

-MarLeahJoy





28 January 2017

When I Think of Today


There are a few times that I look at my life as if I were an outsider reading a romantic novel about myself. I feel as if I'm looking back on my life from 50 years in the future and seeing how "simple" and perfect my life {now} truly is. In that fleeting moment of overwhelming nostalgia I feel complete rest. A slight peaceful smile comes over my face like the smile that graces one whos soul has been winged away to heaven. In that moment, my eyes are caught up in a mesmerized stare -- fixed on something far away, something intangible.

In an effort to capture one of those moments, let me share the events of the day. Nevermind, I'm a woman... I should say "let me share my emotions of the day!" Bwahaha! 😜

Saturday, January 28th, 2017

I woke up a little after 5am this morning to the first ringing of my alarm. I am always extraordinarily responsive to my alarm when I'm sleeping in a strange bed.  I sent a "good morning" text to my boyfriend and crawled out of bed to get around for the journey. I was staying with a sweet Sister from church who lives just a few miles from Kansas City Union Station where I'd be taking the train all the way in to West Virginia.


She dropped me off there with plenty of time to kill... so I began walking around in the great hall of the station to fulfill two of my latest nerdy obsessions. One involves the Fitbit my boss let me borrow for the month to keep track of my steps for a health contest at work. I have been oddly excited to walk (of all things) these last few days and find myself excitedly checking to see how I've progressed. 😜🙄 Secondly, I was wearing my backpacking pack weighing 40 lbs. and wheeling a suitcase weighing 50 lbs. So with a sly smile on my face I was happy to have a chance to walk with some weight on my back to keep myself used to carrying the pack. I only lasted a few rounds around the hall before I dumped my luggage off in a corner 😂 But it still reminds me of the goal I have to go on a backpacking trip again this year, and that makes me happy! :)


After walking for close to an hour, I went to the counter and got my ticket. They informed me that the train was a little late creating even moooorrreee time to kill, and I was very becoming extremely anxious!!! Mostly from knowing that Tyrel and all my friends would be up on the mountain snowboarding today, and I was not quite so fortunate to be with them. In a long distance relationship, it's always the most defeated, lonely feeling to know that your boyfriend is smiling and laughing and enjoying some event or activity with friends or family. Simply because I long to be there to interact! (Not because I wish he wasn't enjoying himself, trust me... I'm not thaaattt jealous! 😜) I knew that I must start counting my blessings soon or I might end up slumping down in the corner somewhere giving way to a good cry. But even as I thought that, I wondered if my first instinct to want to cry was just something I was thinking or if I really might start crying given an unguarded moment. I have found lately that I feel like crying at different times, but hardly ever actually cry. Hmm...Well, I went on and distracted myself with getting in line for the train and taking pictures of various things. Just passing time again, but a little more occupied. 

I had a little fun playing with some motion-blur...



Finally we were outside on the platform between the two departing trains, waiting in line to get our  destination written on a piece of paper to hang above our seat.
I only wish I was traveling with Tyrel. My mind is constantly adjusting from "my life" vs. what my life would be if we were together in that moment. I'm always taking a stab in the dark to think about what details around us he would be noticing in contrast to the way I look at life. He would notice the more technical, gritty details and I would be reminding him of how pretty it is outside, or how "comfortable" and cute the place is. So I stood there again in line looking at the mechanical parts of the train, trying to name them out in my head -- knowing good and well that Tyrel would know exactly what each thing was called... hehe.


After climbing aboard and freeing myself from my luggage, I found a seat beside a kind looking elderly man and sat down with my mind wondering "what on earth to do next". Oh right... "relax". 🙃 I text my sister to let her know the train was moving, to tell her how much I miss her and Brent and Tyrel and everyone else, and to tell her how I longed to just be there allllrrreeaddyyyy!!! 😌 In texting her, my eyes became moist, then a single tear ran down my cheek, then I was full-on crying. I was glad the man beside me was already reclined and taking a nap. I did think however, what would be rolling through the his mind if he did happen to notice. Would he look at me with compassion and wonder what was wrong? Or would he think, "Another emotional woman. They are always crying." 

Well, I guess I hadn't been proactive enough in counting my blessings to ward away those feelings, so I made it a point to do it right then. I  spent time in prayer and soon the lump in my throat went away, and I was just hoping with all my heart that Tyrel was enjoying his time with friends. I was happy then and had found a peace in reading and praying and bringing all my cares and anxieties to the Lord.

I left my spot and took off to reach the lounge car. Not because I necessarily wanted to leave my quiet seat, but because I was given instructions to take a video so a certain someone could see what it was like. 😉😊


The lounge car wasn't too terribly noisy though, and I found an open seat facing the sun that was rising over the empty, brown, winter country-side.

I sat down and looked far off at the rolling hills in the distance. In that moment I became lost to myself. Lost to the present and the feeling of living life. I had found a peaceful place that reminded me of how wonderful my life is. 
In two seconds I experienced my life through the eyes of some future generation hearing about the details and events of my life. Much in the same way I envisioned my Nanna's life when she would tell stories from her youth.
In that moment I was older and there was a sad twinge of realization that I no longer held the same sparkle and vivacity for living my own life. But I was telling the story of the beauty of life and encouraging others to see it in their own life.

"This young girl was traveling by train from Missouri to West Virginia. She was going alone, but her guy was always on her mind, and the anticipation of seeing him again after a long period apart was enough to keep her happy. She was also going to be there for the 1st birthday of her nephew -- the little guy who reminds her of the miracle of life and the complete joy and innocence of little children.
Her thoughts were filled with the excitement and anticipation of the all the great unknowns. Her life was simple and required very little to bring her complete joy. In a sense, she was still carefree as a child, who can in one moment be ruffled my some trifle disturbance, but is soon appeased and carries on with a smile."


Sigh. Then the moment is gone. Leaving me with a muddle of happy thoughts.

-MarLeahJoy

03 January 2017

2016 is OVER


Hmmm...  2016 was quite honestly a very long year for me. Not in negative way either - the year was great!
Maybe I'm not old enough yet, but time doesn't necessarily fly by for me like everyone else says it does. It seems like ages since my nephew was born last February. It seems just as long ago since I went to Hawaii in April. Visiting West Virginia in September could have a least been a year ago... ;P Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating a little bit, but this past year was very full and very different.

I have a video to share. Nothing extraordinary or crazy... Well, maybe it is crazy, maybe I am crazy. ;)
Click here... 2016 Countdown
And some random pictures that I pulled out of my archive as I was going through pictures recently. :D


Many lovely evenings spent on this bike :)


February in Oklahoma


Flight to Hawaii - April



Rainbow Falls, Hawaii



hiking the dessert in South Point, Hawaii


Green Sands, Hawaii


June - Sunday afternoon in Joplin


Fourth of July at my Aunt's house :)


West Virginia - September


Christmas Eve hike at home :)


Took a silhouette of my father taking a silhouette. ;)



May this new year be a delightful one for everyone :)
-MarLeahJoy